FACT CHECK: It is fake, Pantami is not a jihad commander

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Pantami-Minister-Communications-Digital-Economy

By Muhammad Auwal Ibrahim

YBTC News—Peoples Gazette newspaper has published a video alleging that Nigeria’s minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Ali Pantami, is a jihad commander.

The video which trended on twitter was shared by 5,109 users and liked about 4000 times.

CLAIMS:

  1. PEOPLES GAZETTE published the story on 24th April, 2021 with the title, “Pantami as a jihad commander”. Their source was a 2:14 video conducted in Hausa language.

“In 2006, at 34, Isa Pantami vowed to be the “commander” of an army of jihadists in a march on Plateau.” Peoples Gazette claimed on twitter.

  1. The paper further claimed that the minister headed a meeting and agreed to raid some christian communities.

Four years later in 2010, he chaired a meeting in Bauchi where they agreed to raid and subjugate Plateau, Southern Kaduna & other Christian-dominated parts of Northern Nigeria.” the paper further stated.

Few days after the publication of this video, the minister has raised an alarm that he is aware of well coordinated and richly funded campaign against him.

Pantami, in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Uwa Suleiman, on 26th April, 2021, pledged that he won’t sit idle and allow his hard earned reputation dragged in the mud by paid agents linking him to terrorism.

The minister’s call is coming after the receipt of credible intelligence that some unnamed forces are willing to release a doctored videos in a compromise condition to create an injury on his image.

“We are in receipt of credible intelligence that the same forces who have been championing a well-coordinated and richly funded campaign against the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, are now unto the next stage of their diabolic project.” the statement read.

“This time around, the forces of evil are shopping for willing partners as well as their usual avenues, to release doctored videos purporting to show the Honourable Minister in an alleged compromising condition, as a way of creating injury on his image.

We are least surprised by this recent move which is a clear intensification of their desperation, having failed in their assault on the personality of the Honourable Minister, despite their previous efforts.”

“After concocting lies and half-truths linking the Honourable Minister with terrorism, despite his well-documented stance against Boko Haram and similar groups, these adversaries went to the extent of doctoring a document with capacity to endanger national security. It was a relief for peace-loving Nigerians that the gimmick also failed to strike that sensitive chord.”

“This notice therefore is to alert the public to the latest ungodly plan and to warn the perpetrators about the consequences of such action. The Honourable Minister will not sit idly to see his hard-earned reputation as a respected community leader, Islamic Scholar and public servant being muddled in the mud by paid agents with no adherence to truth and fear of God.”

VERDICT:

False. 

The paper didn’t translate the Hausa version of the sermon objectively. There is no point in their source video where Mr. Pantami said he is a jihad commander.

However, he only promised to be the commander (leader) to lead returning internally displaced persons (IDPs) back to their homes in Yelwan Shendem and Garkawa without stating any word like Jihad.

Also, it is false. Mr. Pantami neither held a meeting nor agreed to raid any christian community. This claim is baseless. There is no sound evidence about this claim even in the shared video.

CONCLUSION:

The paper claim lacked objective translation. There is no point, the minister mention jihad through out the video clip. Therefore, it is fake.

Also, he didn’t head any meeting with the intention of raiding any christian community.

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